What’s the Difference Between Leather Ball and Cork Ball?

The Cricket game is one of many games in the club ball category which involves hitting a ball with a hand-help object. As fans of the game, we from time to time, test our knowledge on common facts of the cricket game and in one instance, a question on the difference between leather ball and cork ball was unexpectedly served. That caused a lot of silence in around the room and what followed was just ridiculous answers.

In this article, I research the difference between a leather ball and cork ball and I’m ready to share all I found out. I hope this article will help you together with all the members who were in that “silent” cricket room that day.

So, what’s the difference between leather ball and cork ball? The main difference between leather ball and cork ball is that a leather ball is made up of cork core, wound with string and then the outer part is covered with a layer of leather and stitches while cork ball, unlike leather ball, is made entirely from cork.

I also found out about some other minor differences that set these two types of leather apart from each other but before I share with you more differences between them, what do we know about the cricket ball.

What’s a Cricket Ball?

Cricket Ball

Generally, a leather ball defines perfectly what a cricket ball is. A cricket ball comprises a core of cork, wound with a string and then covered with a layer of leather. The manufacture of cricket balls at a high level is highly regulated by experts with well thought out standards.

The cricket ball is generally harder and heavier than other club balls like baseballs and tennis balls, thus require a lot more safety gear.

There are 3 common colors of cricket balls. During professional games that take days to complete tournament, the traditional red cricket ball will be used. The white cricket ball is used when a cricket game will last only a day and the white ball is to ensure visibility under floodlights. A pink cricket ball is also used specifically to contrast the players’ clothing and also for better visibility during night and day matches.

For training sessions and informal matches, white, pink, and red cricket balls, and any other similar-sized balls are used.

What’s a Cork Ball?

Cork Ball

The cork ball is often confused with the “corkball” which is a “mini-baseball” game featuring a 1.6-ounce ball, which is stitched and resembles a miniature baseball. But the cork ball is made of cork from planks of cork wood made bonded into a round ball.

Differences Between Leather Ball and Cork Ball

Leather Ball Cork Ball
Durability Leather balls are more durable
than cork balls
Less durable except it is
wounded or layered with
leather or any other
suitable material
Uses Leather balls are usually used
in cricket games
Cork balls are mostly
used for the inside part
of cricket balls as its core.
It is also otherwise used
for table football and
Design Made from cork core, a layer of
wound string, and a final
a layer of leather and stitches
Cork ball is entirely
made from a cork
Colors Comes in colors such as red
balls, white balls, pink balls
Cork balls are usually
brown but can sometimes
be painted.

Related Questions

1. Why is cricket played with a leather ball and not a softer ball?

The manufacture of cricket balls is regulated by a well thought out standards by experts taking into consideration the weight, hardness, size of the ball, and design. Using a softer ball will not result in the desired hit, travel distance of the ball, bounce, trajectory, etc the game expects.

The specifications required are thorough standards and must be strictly adhered to for the purposes of the cricket game.

2. How hard is a cricket ball?

The manufacture of the cricket ball is standardized by experts so it’s harder and weightier than most club balls like baseball. However, you will notice that the white cricket balls are harder than the red cricket balls. The legal weight for the cricket ball must weigh between 5.5 and 5.8 ounces (156 and 164 g).

3. Is red ball heavier than white ball?

No, the white and red balls weigh the same because the balls are generally manufactured following the same process with the exception of dyes which is different. This has however been disputed by players and researchers due to the way the white ball swings.

According to the ICC and first-class, the standard specifications for all balls regardless of its color should have if not the same, similar weight, circumference, and manufacturing processes. The only difference is the color of the dye used for the leather.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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